Even in this age of sophisticated data-gathering instruments, on Earth and in space, mankind still turns to Art not only to conceptualize the Universe, but also to inspire future generations to go boldly where for now only our imagination and creativity can take us.
Nut, the ancient Egyptian sky goddess, over Seb, the earth god, separated from each other by Shu, the wind god.
Mimas - by Chesley Bonestell
Born: January 1, 1888, in San Francisco, USA
Died: June 11, 1986
Chesley Bonestell's genius has influenced space art greatly, and has helped to inspire the American space programme. His illustrations for The Conquest of Space, a book written by Willy Ley and published in 1949, are among his best-known and most enduringly popular works of art.
HD 23079 b - by David A. Hardy
David A. Hardy
Born: April 10, 1936, in Bournville (near Birmingham), UK
Hardy's career as an artist began in 1954 when he illustrated a book written by Patrick Moore. He is consequently the longest-established living space artist.
Discovered in 2001, HD 23079 b is an exoplanet some 114 lightyears from Earth in the constellation Reticulum. A gas giant, it has more than double the mass of Jupiter.
Illustration by Frank Tinsley
Frank Xavier Theban Tinsley
Born: November 29, 1899, in Manhattan, N.Y., USA
Died: June 23, 1965
Rendering of a Martian landscape by Kees Veenenbos
Born: 1950, in Zwolle, The Netherlands
To create his images of Martian landscapes, Dutch digital artist Kees Veenenbos uses data received from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. The information is processed by Terragen, a topography rendering programme, and the images generated are so realistic that they are sometimes taken to be photographs. NASA has used Veenenbos' renderings to help in selecting suitable sites for landing probes on the Red Planet.
Cover art by Don Dixon
Born: 1951, in Easton, Pennsylvania, USA
Inspired by Chesley Bonestell, Don Dixon has been creating space art since the 1970s, in oil, acrylic, gouache, and more recently in digital format. Like Bonestell, Dixon believes the fundamental essence of space art must be current scientific knowledge. The illustration above was used for the cover of Isaac Asimov's novel, Nemesis, about renegade colonists from Earth who travel secretly to Barnard's Star.
Barnard's Star is a low-mass red dwarf about six lightyears from Earth, in the constellation Ophiuchus.
Illustration by Nikolai M. Kolchitsky
Nikolai Mikhailovich Kolchitsky
Born: 1907, in the USSR
Nikolai M. Kolchitsky was a Soviet-era artist who created space art illustrations for books and magazines.